Short biography



Throughout his career, and in collaboration with Hilary Rose, he has been actively concerned with the ethical, legal and social implications of developments in science, especially in the fields of genetics and neuroscience. In 1969 they were cofounders of the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science. In 2002 they initiated a call for a moratorium on European research collaboration with Israel whilst that country was in breach of the EU Charter of Human Rights and until a just peace was negotiated with the Palestinians. This call led to the creation of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine. Their most recent joint books are Genes, Cells and Brains: the Promethean promises of the new biology. (Verso, 2012; updated paperback March 2014) and Can Neuroscience Change our Minds? (Polity 2016).

See also recent publications for links to very recent articles

Steven Rose has a first degree in biochemistry from Cambridge, and a PhD in neurochemistry from London. Following  post-doc periods in Oxford, Rome and London, in 1969 he was appointed Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at the Open University, where he is now Emeritus Professor. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, Harvard, the University of Minnesota, the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Academica Sinica in Beijing and most recently at University College, London. For three years he was Joint Professor of Physick (medicine) at Gresham College, London with the feminist sociologist Hilary Rose. Until retirement his laboratory research centred on the neurobiology of learning and memory and  a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease. He is now an author, lecturer and commentator.

In the 1960s he cofounded the Brain Research Association, now the British Neuroscience Association, which helped shape the newborn field of neuroscience. He has received a variety of medals and international awards, most recently the Biochemical Society’s special medal for science communication, the Edinburgh Medal and the silver medal of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts. In 2012 he was given the BNA lifetime award for outstanding contributions to neuroscience.For five years he was a regular panel member of Radio 4’s The Moral Maze. In 2003 BBC 4 transmitted a filmed profile of him. His audio-autobiography forms part of the British Library’s National Life Stories collection of distinguished British scientists